Remembering Tipu Sultan: The Tiger of Mysore

Once a soldier asked Tipu Sultan:

"Is it everything is fair in Love & War..?"

In an epic sentence Tipu Sultan replied:

"It's an excuse and the belief of the people who love to oppress The weaker section of the society, Our tradition and The Kingdom of God's Grace's (Saltanat E Khudadad)'s Legacy is, Whether it may be Love or War It Should Be Fair."

Tipu Sultan

4th May was the anniversary of Tipu Sultan, popularly known as Tiger of Mysore. When we talk about Anti-British Patriotism or Decolonization from British rule, we all owe Tipu Sultan and his father Nawab Haidar Ali khan Bahadur. Tipu and his father Haidar Ali are the first one of those who Installed the idea in common people's mindset about love towards land we are born in. Tipu was a staunch follower of Sufism (Charismatic Islam) since the beginning of his childhood. His father Nawab Haider Ali Khan was one of the best kings and admired as the role model for Justice for all.

As historians say Tipu sultan hailed from the lineage of 'Quraish' Tribe from Saudi Arabia, The tribe of Prophet Muhammad. It's been said Tipu's generations came from Saudi Arabia for business and got settled in the region of current northwest India its also being claimed that his great-great-grandfather became the Disciple of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. How much Truth to this story is? no one knows but it's a claim of many historians To be honest, I grew up watching Daily soap The sword of Tipu Sultan based on a Novel written by Bhagwan Gidwani, in India on Doordarshan National Network Channel. More than him. His father has been always been an inspirational figure for me. There was Nothing like India a Nation at their times it was all about Different regions and kingdom. The Kingdom of Mysore was one of the Regional Kingdoms 'Mysore' or 'Mhaisur'(Named After Ancient Monotheistic Asura King Mahishasur, A biblical Samson like figure in ancient history, who is mentioned as Demon in Sanskrit literature whom the polytheistic Delilah alias 'Durga' Kills ). Nawab Haider Ali khan being a simple herdsman to an independent Rebellion, then becoming a supreme commander of Wodeyar monarch's army then the sudden death of king Wodeyar and with his young kid sitting on the throne, Haider Ali becomes a caretaker of the kingdom soon he emerges as people's 'Nawab' (king) and then Wodeyars Royal family let him become Nawab. Haider Ali's life was full of struggles facing the opponents outside as well as from inside.

Nawab Haidar Ali khan Bahadur

Their Allies were French, the British didn't like it. The most remarkable part was His Adalat-E-Hydri (The Lion's Court of Justice) where men and women Both were allowed to be in legal decision making without having any biases against any Caste or Religion. Estetafania Wenger, Tipu Sultan: A Biography, Alpha Editions, 2017, p..4 It's been said that one of his best advice was 'Christian Friedrich Schwarz, a Lutheran German Christian Missionary who designed this idea of 'Adalat- E-Hydri', Haider Ali's reign also let Schwarz publish a HyderNama ( A law text an antidote to Hindu Caste law of Manu) but somehow lost somewhere in the history books. Schwarz's school still stands as a sign of his legacy and produced many bright students. One of them was the former president of India Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam. Christian Friedrich Schwarz,

Christian Friedrich Schwarz

Haider Ali died in a battle with British and his son Tipu emerged as a King, Tipu walking on his footsteps of his father's legacy designed and shaped the Kingdom of Mysore very wisely with the advises given to him by Sufi saints and Christian missionaries.

Rare portrait of Schwarz and Hyder Ali

There was a Brahmin Named Purneya Pandit in his advisory committee who later on betrayed him along with his intelligence officer Mir Sadiq. Mir Sadiq's descendants are still hated today by the people of Mysore as a family of traitors.

An ascending to throne renamed the kingdom as Saltanat-E- Khudadad (The Kingdom of God's Grace). Borrowed Weapons from French and Introduced Rocket Technology by allying with French, Napoleon Bonaparte and Tipu Sultan are contemporary. Maybe this is the reason Tipu is also called as Napoleon of Mysore. Tipu's Connections with ground reality, being regular in touch with the common masses was impressive his cultural sensitivity was tremendous. The most fabulous thing he has done is while getting welcomed in a procession he saw few tribal and outcasted women half-naked and when he asks about this to his advisors they say it's in the Hindu scriptures that they are supposed to be half-naked. Tipu Rebels based on Hydernama and condemns this law of Hinduism and distributes clothes to all Tribal and outcaste areas he instructs to all the women in the kingdom that all women are allowed to wear full and descent clothing and no need to follow Hindu law. It's Sultanate-E-Khudadad (Kingdom of God's Grace) it's an inclusive kingdom not any Hindu Kingdom. Many Brahmins rebelled against this new move of Tipu sultan and labeled him as a dictator and thousands of Brahmin men Committed suicide for this change. But this is framed as Tipu tried to convert them to Islam and hence the suicides happened. B.N.Pande Religious Policy of Tipu Sultan, It's was not good that hundreds of Brahmin Men died but hundreds of women were happy that they now have the right of wearing clothes. Tipu was a skilled administrator and everything was good unless Lord Cornavallis arrived in India after getting kicked out by George Washington from the United States. Cornwallis was a ruthless bloodthirsty dictator. Tipu's life then became all miserable combating Britishers like his father Hyder Ali. In a battle, Once a soldier asked Tipu Sultan: "Is it everything is fair in Love & War..?" in an epic sentence Tipu Sultan replied: It's an excuse and the belief of the people who love to oppress The weaker section of the society, Our tradition and The Kingdom of God's Grace's (Saltanat E Khudadad)'s Legacy is, Whether it may be Love or War It Should Be Fair." Tipu, in the end, became very harsh to every one of his good advisors including Christian missionaries, he framed that every Christian missionary is allied with British and kicked everyone out including Christian Friedrich Schwarz. It's been said persecution happened on Christians too. Maybe that could be the reason most of Christian Missionaries today don't like Tipu but admire his father. Tipu had tigers as pets Tipu's fort was attacked by British and in this battle, his tigers also attacked British forces.

Replica of 'Tipu's Tiger', the 1780s or 1790s, Mysore, India.

Tipu was shot dead in a Ruthless Bloodthirsty battle against British, after his death, his whole family was enslaved and taken to Chennai then Bengal where his brother also Revolted and didn't succeed, the caravan went on and on, Tipu's Grandson Hazrat Inayat Khan emerged as a famous musician and the pioneer of Sufism (Charismatic Islam) in the west. Tipu's great-granddaughter Noorunissa Inayat khan was a British Spy in Nazi Camp and fought the Nazis and helped Jews to escape from the Nazis. Later on, she was assassinated.

Noor Inayat Khan

Today Tipu sultan's descendants live a very poor life in slums in Bengal, they are ignored and don't have any support from any Government. One of his Grandson is an auto Driver one of his great-great-grandsons is a law student. They just live a common life as outcastes as they are Pasmandas. India is a land of hero-worship, we worship our heroes and never walk the talk.

The last descendants of Tipu Sultan

We idolized Tipu Sultan, Britain sold many of his belongings from their museum including his Sword was purchased by Liquor king Loan Defaulter Vijay Malya a few years ago. And then he gave it away in 2016 because it was a 'Bad Luck' for him. We never try to learn anything good from Tipu's life and legacy. My Salutes to Tipu Sultan The Tiger of Mysore, and his fighting legacy which keeps inspiring me and millions to combat miseries with firm determination.

Author: Obed Manwatkar, is a Research Scholar in World Religions. Based in Chicago, USA.


  1. Narsingha Sil, TipuSultan in History: Revisionism Revised

  2. Estetafania Wenger, Tipu Sultan : A Biography, Alpha Editions, 2017, p..4

  3. Christian Friedrich Swarchz,

  4. B.N.Pande Religious Policy of Tipu Sultan,

  5. Noor Inayat Khan

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